Grand Rapids, Minn. (December 20, 2017) — More than 20 Long Prairie area residents took steps this fall to move the community toward being a place that works for all residents.
Leadership in Ethnically Diverse Communities (LEDC) develops the capacity of all community members in ethnically diverse communities to build inclusion. A program of Grand Rapids-based Blandin Foundation, LEDC has provided experiential leadership training for more than 600 community leaders from 13 rural Minnesota communities. This is the first time Long Prairie area residents have participated in the LEDC leadership program.
Local residents participating in this training were:
Alex Aguilar, Jo Ann Braegelman, Amy Dinkel-VanValkenburg, Dawn Espe, Rocio Fernandez Lugo, Francisco Mejia, Brenda Miller, Salvador Morelos, Nancy Potter, Don Rasmussen, Lydia Smith-Lenardson Teresa Sorenson, Jen Strom, Enos Swartzentruber, Jerry Swartzentruber, Gary Taylor, Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst, Carmen Urbina Oberton, Lorena Vasquez and Jonathan Walz
Offered in one rural Minnesota community each year, local community members invited Blandin Foundation to bring LEDC to the Long Prairie area. Topics covered during the program included: understanding culture and its role in building relationships, culturally specific differences in conflict interaction styles, activities to build and strengthen relationships among participants, and plans to engage in the community in ways that promote inclusion.
“A healthy community depends on leadership engagement of community members,” said Valerie Shangreaux, director of Blandin leadership programs. “The leadership demonstrated by these participants reflects their commitment to their community, as well as to the region and to rural Minnesota.”
LEDC training programs are funded entirely by Blandin Foundation.